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Senators Say Passage of Flood Bill “Within Reach,” Urge Floor Action

A bipartisan group of 41 U.S. Senators has sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging them to bring legislation to the floor to fully extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to the floor for debate and passage
February 14, 2012

A bipartisan group of 41 U.S. Senators has sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging them to bring legislation to the floor to fully extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to the floor for debate and passage. The letter was organized by Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont).

The NFIP was last extended until May 31 on Dec. 23, when President Obama signed legislation sent to him by Congress. Congress is closer to passing comprehensive flood insurance reform along with a five-year NFIP renewal than it has been in many years. Since 2002, there have been 15 last-minute reauthorizations of the NFIP. On four occasions, the program was allowed to lapse for extended periods of time and flood coverage could not be purchased or renewed for a total of 53 days. During the lapses, real estate deals in which flood insurance was required got delayed.

In an example of rare, broad bipartisan agreement, the House last year passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 1309) to extend NFIP for a full five years and enact key reforms to put the program on a firm financial footing. The vote was 406-22. A similar bill was reported out favorable by the Senate Banking Committee. The bipartisan group called on their colleagues to seize the opportunity to finally finish work on the flood bill.

“We believe that passage of a comprehensive, bipartisan flood reauthorization bill is within reach, and we respectfully urge you to schedule such a debate,” the letter concludes.

See the bipartisan letter sent to Senate Leaders: Letter to Reid, McConnell (Feb. 9, 2012)

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